John Kelly is staying on as Trump's chief of staff until at least the new year while the White House struggles to find a replacement.
White House chief of staff John Kelly will spend the holidays with Trump despite being let go from his position, highlighting the ongoing chaos within the Trump administration.
The Washington Post reports that while Trump announced on Saturday, Dec. 8 that Kelly would be let go from his job, Kelly will remain at Trump's beck and call through Jan. 2 — or longer.
Trump had planned to keep Kelly on until he chose a replacement, but he also thought he'd be able to find a replacement quickly.
That hasn't happened, because nobody wants the job. Trump was hoping to poach Pence's own chief of staff, Nick Ayers — but Ayers turned him down, and Trump had no Plan B.
Thanks to Trump's disastrous management style, the chief of staff position has gone from one of the most prestigious jobs in Washington to a laughingstock.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway tried to spin Kelly's new lame-duck tenure as a way to ensure "a very peaceful and pragmatic transition."
But most normal presidents do not need to worry about ensuring a peaceful transfer of power from one chief of staff to the next.
Anyone who agrees to work for Trump has to deal with an unusually volatile situation. The next chief of staff will not only have to manage an unhinged Trump, but will also have to answer for Trump's criminality once an incoming Democratic majority finally provides oversight of his presidency.
Trump is clearly embarrassed that nobody wants to be his chief of staff, which led him to brag without evidence on Twitter that "over ten" people are actually "vying for" the position.
But Kelly's departure did give Trump a handy excuse to avoid visiting communities of people who strongly oppose his racist agenda.
The White House canceled a planned visit to a church in a predominantly black neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, claiming that the schedule could no longer work thanks to the disruption from Kelly's departure.
But Trump is still holding the summit on urban development he planned to spend his time on in Baltimore, and since the church is only about 40 miles from the White House, the excuse about scheduling sounded flimsy to begin with. And now that we know for sure that Kelly is staying on anyway, the excuse sounds more like a lie.
It seems much more likely that Trump just wants to avoid criticism and protests from a community he has repeatedly denigrated.
And if Trump was a competent enough president to be able to recruit a competent chief of staff, he could easily avoid this sort of public controversy.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.